Women with breast cancer often have a portion of their breast removed in a surgery called lumpectomy, or an entire breast removed with a mastectomy. In some cases both breasts are removed. The physical changes from these surgeries, even if they are not severe, can be harmful to a woman’s psychological well-being.
Reconstructive surgery aims to cushion the emotional impact of breast cancer surgery by reversing some of the physical changes. If you’ve had a lumpectomy, Dr. Marshall can rearrange, or reconstruct, your remaining breast tissue to give your breast a more normal shape and size. Most women who have this relatively minor surgery go home the same day and feel back to normal after two to three weeks.
If you’ve had a mastectomy, Dr. Marshall can use one of several techniques to recreate the size and shape of your breast. One method involves placing a silicone implant under the skin and muscles of your chest wall. If you have this surgery, you’ll most likely spend one or two nights in the hospital. Another method uses your own tissue, usually taken from your abdomen or back, to recreate your breast. This has the advantage of not using an implant, with the disadvantage of longer surgery and recovery times. Women usually stay in the hospital three to five days after surgery. Dr. Marshall will explain the details of each surgery and recommend the method that will be best for your particular situation.
Breast reconstruction can often be done at the same time as your mastectomy or lumpectomy. It can also be done later, either for your convenience or to accommodate chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.
Insurance companies that cover breast cancer surgery are required to also cover breast reconstruction. This includes surgery to the unaffected breast to provide a symmetrical look. If you have any concerns about your insurance coverage, or about any aspect of breast reconstruction surgery, Dr. Marshall and his staff can answer your questions.
To view videos about this topic, please visit our Plastic Surgery Videos page. Please note, these should be only be viewed by those over 18 or with adult supervision. Contact Dr. Marshall's office at 406-327-3895 if you have any questions.
Patients of Dr. Marshall may have been given access to the before and after photo gallery. If you would like access please contact our office.